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Bill Simmons – The Sports Guy

July 24, 2010 1 comment

Bill Simmons

The Sports Guy

Bill Simmons of ESPN is a columnist who touches on sports (with a definite lean towards Boston sports teams) as well as pop culture. He’s always a funny read and has great insight, albeit irreverent, in the world of sports. I always look forward to his columns wherein he answers readers questions. He has a recent session (called the Summer Mega-Mailbag) that, in true Harry Potter and the Deathly Gallows/Matrix tradition, is so long he split the column into parts one and two. To give you an idea of the questions he answers, I’ve given you a taste below; if you enjoy them, head on over to ESPN.com for the whole thing. He’s on Page Two.

Q: My No. 1 reason for watching the World Cup: If you lose, something bad may happen to you. The Fear Factor is great. Some dictator, ruler or cartel will sell your family, house and car before your plane lands. Do you really think the North Korea goalie is still alive after giving up seven goals? Kim Jong Il has that guy floating in a dinghy somewhere.
— Mike Allen, Chicago

SG: All good points. It’s the only life-or-death event we have. I mean, even when Steve Bartman helped screw up the 2003 NLCS for Cubs fans, they didn’t kill him; they only made him move to Europe, change his name and start a new life as if he had joined the witness protection program. That’s totally different.

Q: If you look back on all the episodes of “Seinfeld” that dealt with Jerry and Co. frantically racing across town for whatever reason or missing somebody at a restaurant or bar by a couple of minutes, a BlackBerry or iPhone would’ve solved all their problems. Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are lucky they made the show when they did (before cell phones went mainstream) because there’s no way “Seinfeld” works in 2010.
— Steve Clark, Fort Wayne, Ind.

SG: Thanks for ruining “Seinfeld” reruns for me; I can’t watch the show since I read this e-mail. Next up for Steve Clark: Figuring out ways to piss on Christmas and three-day weekends.

Q: So I’m up late on Saturday night watching MTV’s “True Life.” It’s an episode in which it follows two people who aren’t happy about their gender. One guy is super excited about getting his boobs so he can start the process of becoming a woman. He gets his new boobs and when we finally get to see them, they are blurred. Wait a minute … isn’t he still a guy? What’s the difference between this and anyone on “The Biggest Loser”? Also, it follows a girl who is getting her boobs removed. They show her in the operation room and when her boobs are getting cut out, there is no blur to be seen. Six weeks later, they pull off the bandages and there they are. All stitched up for me to see. No blurs to be found. So now I’m really perplexed. When do the rules of what to/what not to blur set in?
— Mike Gath, Austin, Texas

SG: Approaching …

Q: If you could replace any character in movie history with yourself, who would it be and why? My vote is for you to replace Goose in “Top Gun.” You get to kiss a young and hot Meg Ryan, get a nickname no one will ever forget, plus you seem like the kind of guy that would love to play shirtless volleyball with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, and next to Cruise you would look 6-foot-9. I don’t think anyone would watch it but still.
–Scott Smith, Madison, Wis.

SG: Coming in for the landing …

Q: Am I the only one who does the following? Whenever I get more than about three-fourths of the way down your mailbag, I start scrolling very slowly through each question and answer so that the next one doesn’t appear. That way, I won’t errantly glance down and see the “Yup, these are my readers” line below, which ruins the surprise. It seems silly but also necessary — it’s much more satisfying to read the e-mail in anticipation of the eventual YTAMR.
— Ari Ofsevit, Boston

SG: Yup, these are my readers.

D.B. Grady – Guest-blogging at The Atlantic

July 24, 2010 Leave a comment

DB GradyD.B. Grady – Guest-blogging at The Atlantic. Read this man. I consider him a friend and as close to a renaissance man as I can see, given his bona fides.

He can field strip and M-16, parachute in a landing zone behind hostile lines, replace a RAID controller on a server, write an award winning novel (Red Planet Noir, available on Amazon.com), tweet amusing insight in 140 characters or less (plus he has that cool “Verified Account” badge which I still believe he got by having compromising pictures of nude Evan Williams and a peanut butter smeared midget), AND be a regular contributor to the prestigious and well-respected magazine, The Atlantic.

Oh and he has the cutest little daughter.

The Great Milwaukee Flood

July 22, 2010 1 comment

We’re getting hit with heavy rains – as much as 7 inches during the last two hours. Check it out:

Coa – Bayshore Mall

July 22, 2010 1 comment

My father-in-law is in town this week and so we decided to try Coa in Bayshore for dinner. We’d been there before for drinks and brunch but never for dinner. While the atmosphere was decidedly upscale (for Milwaukee, that is), this Bianchini owned restaurant (same group that runs Cubanitas and Osteria del Mondo among others) falls somewhat short in the food. Oh it’s fine enough, but not what you should expect when you’re paying $3-4 per taco.

We started off with some cocktails – we’d had the signature Coa drink before (a mix of tequila, prickly pear puree, and agave nectar) – that may have been the highlight of the evening. The bowl of tortilla chips were freshly made and the salsa was delicious. I asked for the spicier salsa that had hints of lime and chipotle, making it a bit smoky in flavor, which I enjoyed very much. The only negative was that the drinks took a long time to come to our table. Given that there were only a total of four tables occupied at the time, and given that the bartenders were obviously not busy, this was a bit annoying.

As an appetizer, we had the fresh guacamole and the queso fundido and both were pretty good. The queso fundido had bits of onions, green and red peppers and came with a side of flour tortillas, just like in the little restaurants in Mexico and was made not with melted Velveeta with some salsa mixed in like other popular Mexican restaurants in our city, but rather with Chihuahua cheese, the way it’s supposed to be made. The guac had a light topping of queso fresco and hints of garlic and cilantro but we like it to be a bit more chunky. It seemed like it was processed through a Robo-coupe.

For dinner, my father-in-law had the daily special – Yucatan style baby back ribs – which at 5:30 was down to the last 2 or 3 orders remaining for the evening (apparently they forgot to order the baby-back ribs from Sysco on their last food order), my wife and I tried 6 different tacos:

  • Al Pastor (chili-marinated pork, onion, pineapple, cilantro ) – $4
  • Tinga (stewed chicken, sweet onions,  cilantro, chipotle sauce) – $4
  • Chorizo (chorizo, black beans, cilantro, crema) – $4
  • Camarón (sautéed shrimp, cilantro, tomato, avocado, mango-lime sauce) – $5
  • Rajas (roasted poblano peppers, rustic potatoes, crema, grated cotija cheese) – $3
  • Frijoles (black beans, garlic, avocado, cilantro, crema) – $3

Each set of three came with the Coa rice (san marzano tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, peas, saffron)and your choice of black beans, refried beans or Coa Beans (pinto beans, Dos Equis, chorizo, bacon).

The Coa rice and the Coa beans were nondescript and a bit bland. Disappointing to say the least. My father-in-law enjoyed the ribs – I always believed that the mark of good ribs is the meat falling off the bone and just a hint of sauce to let the flavor of the ribs shine. He enjoyed them. As for the tacos, I enjoyed the taco al pastor, although I have to admit, it wasn’t nearly as good as the ones from hole-in-the-wall taquerias I’ve been to in Mexico. For a $4 taco, I expect more, but I guess I’m paying for the ambience.

The tinga was not a favorite of mine as the chicken seemed soggy and devoid of a distinctive taste. I know it wasn’t good since I had to slather it in slasa to enjoy it. By the time I got to the chorizo, I was full of chips and salsa and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

My wife had the other three tacos and she liked the shrimp taco but did not care for either of the others. The frijoles were simply beans and some meager bits of avocado and the rajas were overpowered by the mass of potatoes. She would have gone with three shrimp tacos in the future.

All in all it was an uneven experience. If the tacos had been more consistent and the price a bit lower, I would have given it a higher mark; however, given the high rent at Bayshore, I can understand the need to price their tacos higher. Go for happy hour and then eat elsewhere. Like Cempazuchi.

COA
5750 North Port Washington Road
Glendale, WI 53217-4510
(414) 967-1451

Hours
M-Th 11am to 10pm
Fri-Sat 11am to 1am
Sun 11am to 9pm
Happy Hour 4pm to 6pm Daily

Apple’s condescending iPhone 4 press conference. – By Farhad Manjoo – Slate Magazine

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Antennagate

Antennagate

Apple’s condescending iPhone 4 press conference. – By Farhad Manjoo – Slate Magazine.

Thanks Steve for giving the people what they wanted, along with a fresh, steaming bowl of bile from you. Admit it dude, you fucked up. Man up and do the right thing. But don’t be a dick about it.

I talked to a friend who is a hedge fund manager that owns (like probably 75% of all funds) Apple stock and he said that while the company is still prized, it has taken a hit internally with their botched handling of the situation. Not enough to sell off their shares, but enough to knock the sheen of the once-golden reputation. He said that they would be watched more closely and that he was “surprised” at they way this was handled. “It’s not indicative of how they’ve dealt with previous issues” he said. I hope this is more of an aberration than a more permanent change in attitude from the company.

Mel Gibson can learn a lesson or two…

July 16, 2010 1 comment

from xkcd.com:

Mr. Rogers projected an air of genuine, unwavering, almost saintly pure-hearted decency. But when you look deeper, at the person behind the image ... that's exactly what you find there, too. He's exactly what he appears to be.

Can we please have more people like Mr. Rogers to look up to now?

Stanford’s Bookless Library Heralds the Future of… Book Buying? | Fast Company

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Stanford’s Bookless Library Heralds the Future of… Book Buying? | Fast Company.

Well, it’s coming – all you fans of books, real honest to goodness physical covers and paper (or even  GASP vellum), the writing is on the wall.

Just as vinyl still exists but is marginalized so will books. When the Stanford library reduces space in their new building by 85% (!!!) then you know the end is coming. It may not be here yet, but make no mistake, it’s coming.

Categories: Books, Education, Other, Tech, Work